Red meat exports hit historic highs increasing by more than a quarter in August compared to August last year. The Meat Industry Association shows exports for August reached $650 million with the 26 per cent increase largely driven by higher beef exports, up 39 per cent to $299m year-on-year. Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says beef exports to China, were up 89 per cent to $117m in August, while exports to the United States were up by 31 per cent to $102m, and Japan by 31 per cent to $15m. New Zealand exported a total of 35,327 tonnes during August, 71 per cent higher for the month over the last 30 years. Meanwhile Alliance Group shipments of chilled lamb to Britain and Europe for the Christmas market have commanded 25 per cent more in price than the same time last year, and 40 per cent above the five-year average. Sirma Karapeeva says overall sheepmeat exports to China and the US increased, but export volumes to Britain dropped 52 per cent. Its the first time since the 1980s export volumes to Britain dropped below 1000 tonnes in a single month and may be the first signs of the impact of Brexit. In turn British exports of sheep meat were down 25 per cent, or 12,705 tonnes, due to a decline in exports to the EU.